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Chapter I, Section 3


In the last Section texts of doubtful import were interpreted to refer to Brahman. Some other expressions prescribed for divine contemplation in different Srutis, not already discussed in Section 2 are now taken up for discussion to prove that they all indicate the same Infinite Brahman.

In the First Section of the First Chapter the author (Sutrakara) took up the terms which referred to the manifested world such as Akasa (ether), Prana (energy), Jyoti (light) and showed that they really refer to Brahman. In the Second Section the author took up the terms which referred to the human body and showed that they refer to Brahman. The Section referred to the Saguna aspect of Brahman. The Third Section refers to the Nirguna aspect of Brahman. Here the subject of discussion is to Para Brahman or the Supreme Nirguna Brahman.


Some other passages prescribed for meditation in different Srutis, not already discussed in Section-2 are now taken up for discussion to prove that they all indicate the same Infinite, Satchidananda, all-pervading, eternal, Immortal Brahman.

Adhikarana I: (Sutras 1-7) proves that that within which the heaven, the earth etc., are woven (Mun. Up. II-2-5) is Brahman.

Adhikarana II: (Sutras 8-9) shows that the Bhuma referred to in Chh. Up. VII-23 is Brahman.

Adhikarana III: (Sutras 10-12) teaches that the Akshara (the Imperishable one) of Bri. Up. III-8-8 in which the ether is woven is Brahman.

Adhikarana IV: (Sutra 13) decides that the Highest Person who is to be meditated upon with the syllable OM according to Prasna Up. V-5 is not the lower but the higher Brahman.

Adhikarana V: (Sutras 14-21) shows that the small ether (Daharakasa) within the lotus of the heart mentioned in Chh. Up. VIII-1 is Brahman.

Adhikarana VI: (Sutras 22-23) proves that he after whom everything shines, by whose light all this is lightedKatha Up. II-2-15is not some material luminous body, but Brahman itself.

Adhikarana VII: (Sutras 24-25) decides that the person of the size of a thumb mentioned in Katha Up. II-1-12 is not the individual soul but Brahman.

Adhikarana VIII: (Sutras 26-33) The next two Adhikaranas are of the nature of a digression. They raise a side issue and decide that deities are equally entitled to practise Brahma Vidya as prescribed in the Vedas. Sutras 29 and 30 establish the conclusion that the Vedas are eternal.

Adhikarana IX: (Sutras 34-38) explains that Sudras are altogether not entitled for Brahma Vidya.

Adhikarana X: (Sutra 39) proves that the Prana in which everything trembles according to Katha Up. II-3-2 is Brahman.

Adhikarana XI: (Sutra 40) proves that the `light' (Jyoti) mentioned in Chh. Up. VIII-12-3 is the Highest Brahman.

Adhikarana XII: (Sutra 41) decides that the ether which reveals names and forms (Chh. Up. VIII-14) is not the elemental ether but Brahman.

Adhikarana XIII: (Sutras 42-43) teaches that the Vijnanamayahe who consists of knowledge of Bri. Up. IV-3-7 is not the individual soul but Brahman.



Dyubhvadyayatanam svasabdat I.3.1 (64)

The abode of heaven, earth, etc., (is Brahman) on account of the term, `own' i.e., `Self'.

Dyu: heaven; Bhu: earth; Adi: and the rest; Ayatanam: abode; Sva: own; Sabdat: from the word (Sva sabdat: on account of the word `Self').

An expression from the Mundaka Upanishad is taken up for discussion.

Para Brahman is the basis or resting place of heaven, earth etc., as the term Atman indicative of Him is found in the passage. We read in Mundaka Upanishad II-2-5 He in whom the heaven, the earth, and the sky are woven, as also the mind with all the senses, know Him alone as the Self, and leave off other talk! He is the bridge of immortality.

Here the doubt arises whether the abode is the Supreme Brahman or something else.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that the abode is something else on account of the expression He is the bridge of immortality. He says: it is known from daily experience that a bridge takes one to some further bank. It is impossible to assume something beyond the Supreme Brahman, because the Srutis declare, Brahman is endless without a shore Bri. Up. II-4-12. As the Pradhana is the general cause, it may be called the general abode. Or the Sutratman may be the abode. The Srutis say Air is that thread, O Gautama! By air as by a thread O Gautama! this world and the other world and all beings are strung together Bri. Up. III-7-2. So the air supports all things. Or else the Jiva may be the abode with reference to the objects of enjoyment as he is the enjoyer.

He who is spoken of as the abode, in whom the earth, heaven etc., are woven is Brahman only, on account of the term `Own' or `Self' which is appropriate only if Brahman is referred to in the text and not Pradhana or Sutratman. (We meet with the word `Self' in the passageKnow him alone as the Self).

Brahman is spoken of in the Sruti as the general abode by its own terms i.e. by terms properly designating Brahman as, for instance, All these creatures, my dear, have their root in the being, their abode in the being, their rest in the being (Chh. Up. VI-8-4).

In the texts preceding and following this one, i.e. in Mun. Up. II-1-10 and II-2-11 Brahman is spoken of. Therefore it is only proper to infer that Brahman only is referred to in the intervening texts which is under discussion. In the texts cited above mention is made of an abode and that which abides. In Mundaka Upanishad II-2-11 we read: Brahman indeed is all this. From this a doubt may arise that Brahman is of a manifold variegated nature, just as in the case of a tree consisting of leaves, branches, stem, root etc. ln order to remove this doubt the text declares in the passage under discussion Know Him alone as the Self i.e. know the Self alone and not that which is merely a product of Avidya (ignorance) and is false or illusory. Another scriptural text reproves the man who thinks that this world is real. From death to death goes he who beholds any difference here (Katha Up. II-4-11).

The statement All is Brahman aims at dissolving the wrong conception of the reality of the world. It does not intimate that Brahman is of manifold, variegated nature. The homogeneous nature of Brahman is clearly stated in the Srutis. As a mass of salt has neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of taste, thus indeed has that Self (Brahman) neither inside nor outside, but is altogether a mass of knowledge (Bri. Up. IV-5-13). For all these reasons the abode of heaven, earth etc., is the Supreme Brahman.

The word Setu (bridge) in the words `Amritasyaisa Setuh' (He is the bridge of immortality) merely refers to His being the basis of every created object and the means of immortality. The word `bridge' is meant to intimate only that which is called a bridge that supports, not that it has a further bank. You should not think that the bridge meant is like an ordinary bridge made of wood or stone. Because the word `Setu' is derived from the root `Si' which means to bind. The word conveys the idea of holding together or supporting.

Muktopasripyavyapadesat I.3.2 (65)

Because of the declaration (in the scriptures) that that is to be attained by the liberated.

Mukta upasripya: to be attained by the liberated; Vyapadesat: because of declaration.

An argument in support of Sutra I is given.

The above word Dyubhvadyayatanam refers to Para Brahman, also because He is described as attained by the emancipated soul.

A further reason is given to intimate that Brahman is meant in the passage under discussion. Brahman is the goal of the emancipated. That Brahman is that which is to be resorted to by the liberated is known from other scriptural passages such as The fetter of the heart is broken, all doubts are solved, all his works perish when He who is the higher and the lower has been beheld Mun. Up. II-2-8. The wise man freed from name and form goes to the divine Person who is greater than the great (Mun. Up. III.2-8). When all desires which once entered his heart are destroyed then does the mortal become immortal, then he obtains Brahman (Bri. Up. IV-4-7).

Nowhere you will find that the Pradhana and similar entities are to be resorted to by the emancipated.

We read in the Bri. Up. IV-4-21, Let a wise Brahmana after he has discovered Him, practise wisdom. Let him not seek after many words, because that is mere weariness of the tongue. For this reason also the abode of heaven, earth, etc., is the Supreme Brahman.

Nanumanamatacchabdat I.3.3 (66)

(The abode of heaven etc.) is not that which is inferred i.e. Pradhana because there is no term indicating it.

Na: not; Anumanam: that which is inferred i.e. Pradhana; Atad sabdat: because there is no word denoting it.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

The abode referred to in Sutra 1 does not indicate Pradhana because there is no such expression in the said Mundaka Upanishad as can be construed to indicate Pradhana or matter. On the contrary such terms as He who knows all (Sarvajna) understands all (Sarvavit) (Mun. Up. I-1-9) intimate an intelligent being opposed to Pradhana in nature. For the same reason the air (Sutratman) cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth etc.

Pranabhriccha I.3.4 (67)

(Nor) also the individual soul.

Pranabhrit: the living or individual soul, supporter of Prana, i.e., Jiva; Cha: also; (Na: not).

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

The word `not' is understood here from the preceding Sutra.

Although the individual soul is an intelligent being and can therefore be denoted by the word `Self' yet omniscience and similar qualities do not belong to him, as his knowledge is limited by the adjuncts. He cannot become the resting place or abode of the entire world as he is limited and therefore not omnipresent.

The individual soul cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth etc., for the following reason also.

Bhedavyapadesat I .3.5 (68)

(Also) on account of the declaration of difference (between) individual soul and the abode of heaven etc.

Bhedavyapadesat: on account of difference being mentioned.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

In the text under discussion viz., Know him alone as the Self (Atman) (Mun. Up. II-2-5), there is a declaration of difference. The individual soul who is desirous of emancipation is the Knower and abode of heaven is the thing to be known. Brahman which is denoted by the word `Self' and represented as the object of knowledge is understood to be the abode of heaven, earth and so on.

For the following reason also the individual soul cannot be accepted as the abode of heaven, earth etc.

Prakaranat I .3.6 (69)

On account of the subject matter.

Prakaranat: On account of the subject matter, from the context.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is continued.

The Supreme Brahman is the subject matter of the entire chapter. You can understand this from the passage Sir, what is that through which when it is known, everything else becomes known? Mun. Up. I-1-3. Here the knowledge of everything is said to be dependent on the knowledge of one thing. Because all this i.e. the whole universe becomes known if Brahman the Self of all is known, but not if only the individual soul is known.

The Mundaka Upanishad begins with `what is that through which' and concludes by saying The knower of the Brahman becomes Brahman III-2-9. This clearly intimates that the subject matter of the whole Upanishad from the beginning to the end is Brahman only. Hence it is the same Brahman which is spoken of as the resting place of heaven, earth and so on.

Another reason against the individual soul is given in the following Sutra.

Sthityadanabhyam cha I. 3.7 (70)

And on account of the two conditions of remaining unattached and eating (of which the former is characteristic of the Supreme Self, the latter of the individual soul).

Sthiti: abiding, existence; Adanabhyam: eating; Cha: and.

The argument in support of Sutra 1 is concluded.

We read in Mundakopanisad III-1-1. Two birds, inseparable friends cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on (remains as a witness). The passage refers to Brahman as Self-poised bliss and to the individual soul as eating the sweet and bitter fruits of actions. Here Brahman is described as the silent witness. The passage describes the condition of mere inactive presence of Brahman. The individual soul eats the fruits of his works viz. pleasure and pain and therefore he is different from Brahman. The two states viz. mere presence and the enjoyment indicate that Brahman and the individual soul are referred to. This description which distinguishes the two can be apt only if the abode of heaven etc. is Brahman. Otherwise there will be no continuity of topic.

It cannot be said that the passage merely describes the nature of the individual soul, because it is nowhere the purpose of the scripture to describe the individual soul. The individual soul is known to everyone as agent and enjoyer. Ordinary experience tells us nothing of Brahman. Brahman is the special topic of all scriptural texts. The purpose of the scriptures is always to describe and establish Brahman which is not well known.



Bhuma samprasadadadhyupadesat I.3.8 (71)

Bhuma (is Brahman) because it is taught after the state of deep sleep (i.e. after Prana or the vital air which remains awake even in that state).

Bhuma: the vast, the Infinite, the full; Samprasadat adhi: beyond the state of deep sleep (here the vital principle or Prana); Upadesat: because of the teaching.

The term `Bhuma' does not denote numerical largeness but pervasion in the shape of fulness. Samprasada means the undisturbed place or bliss hence the state of deep sleep, when that bliss is enjoyed. `Adhi' means above, beyond.

Bhuma denotes Brahman, because it is described in Sruti to be above Prana, which is here represented by the bliss enjoyed during deep sleep. Bhuma refers to Brahman as the passage teaches an entity higher than Samprasada i.e. Prana or vital air which is awake and active even in deep sleep.

An expression from the Chhandogya Upanishad is now taken up for discussion. In the seventh chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad Sanatkumara gives instructions to Narada. He begins with `name' and takes the student step by step. He goes higher and higher and ultimately teaches the highest truth which is Bhuma or the Infinite. Sanatkumara says to Narada Bhuma is Bliss. You should desire to understand where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is Bhuma. VIII-22-24.

Here the doubt arises whether Bhuma is the vital air or Brahman (the Supreme Self).

The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that the vital air is Bhuma. He says: Narada approaches Sanatkumara for initiation into the mysteries of Atman. We meet with a series of questions and answers such as Is there anything greater than a name? Speech is greater than name. Is there anything greater than speech? Mind is greater than speech which extends from name up to vital air. Then Narada does not ask whether there is any higher truth. But still Sanatkumara gives an exposition on Bhuma. This intimates that Bhuma is not different from the vital air taught already.

Further he calls the knower of the vital air an Ativadin i.e., one who makes a statement surpassing preceding statements. This clearly shows that the vital air is the highest Truth.

This Sutra refutes the argument and says that Bhuma is Brahman. Sanatkumara distinctly says to NaradaBut verily he is an Ativadin who declares the highest Being to be the True (Satya) Chh. Up. VII-16-1. This clearly indicates that it refers to something higher than Prana or the vital air. One can become truly an Ativadin by knowing this Supreme Truth only.

Though Narada does not ask Sanatkumara Is there anything greater than the vital air?, a new topic about Brahman (Bhuma) which is the Supreme Truth is begun. Narada said to Sanatkumara Sir, may I become an Ativadin through the Truth. Sanatkumara leads Narada step by step, stage by stage to the knowledge of Brahman or Bhuma and instructs him that this Bhuma is Brahman.

Narada at first listens to the instruction given by Sanatkumara on various matters, the last of which is Prana and then becomes silent. Thereupon the wise Sanatkumara explains to him spontaneously without being asked that he only is an Ativadin who has knowledge of the Highest Truth, and that the knowledge of vital air which is an unreal product is destitute of substance. By the term The True is meant the Supreme Brahman, because Brahman is the only Reality. Sanatkumara thereupon leads Narada by a series of steps beginning with understanding up to the knowledge of Bhuma. We, therefore, conclude that the Bhuma is the Supreme Brahman, and that it is different from Prana or the vital air.

If Prana or the vital air were the Bhuma then Sanatkumara would not have continued his instructions. He would have stopped his instructions after saying Prana is greater than hope (VII-15-1). But he gives a clear description of the nature of Bhuma in Sections 23, 24, 25 of the same chapter. Therefore Bhuma alone is Brahman or the Highest Truth.

Selfhood does not belong to Prana. Moreover one can free himself from grief only by knowledge of the Supreme Brahman. Brahman only is All Full. Bhuma means also fulness. The quality of the Bhuma agrees best with the Supreme Brahman which is the cause, source, support and substratum for everything. Bhuma is taught as the last of the series. It is Infinite Bliss. Therefore it is the highest of all.

The meditation on Prana is higher than meditation on Name up to hope. Therefore he who thus meditates on Prana is called an Ativadin. He is an Ativadin compared with those below him. But the meditation on the Supreme Brahman is superior even to that on Prana. Hence he who meditates on Brahman or the Bhuma is the real Ativadin.

Narada thought that the instruction about the Atman is now completed. Therefore he did not ask any further question. Sanatkumara knew that the knowledge of Prana is not the highest knowledge. Therefore he spontaneously continues his teaching to Narada and tells him that the knowledge of Brahman or the Bhuma is the highest knowledge. The Srutis say that Prana springs from Brahman. Therefore Prana is inferior to Brahman. Brahman alone is the Bhuma of the passage of the Chhandogya Upanishad under discussion.

Dharmopapattescha I.3.9 (72)

And because the attributes (declared in the scriptural passage to Bhuma) apply appropriately only to Para Brahman.

Dharma: qualities, attributes; Upapatteh: because of the suitability; Cha: and.

An argument in support of Sutra 8 is given.

The attributes which the scripture attributes to the Bhuma agree well with Brahman. In the Bhuman the ordinary activities of seeing etc. are absent. The Sruti declares where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the Bhuma. We know from another text that this is the characteristic of the Supreme Self. But when the Atman only is all this, how could he see another? Bri. Up. IV-5-15.

The qualities of being the True, resting on its own greatness, non-duality, bliss, Infiniteness, the self of everything, Omnipresence, Immortality etc., mentioned in the text under discussion can belong to the Supreme only, not to Prana which is an effect and as such cannot possess any of these attributes.

By all this it is proved that the Bhuma is the Supreme Self or Brahman.



Aksharamambarantadhriteh I.3.10 (73)

The Imperishable (is Brahman) on account of (its) supporting everything up to Akasa (ether).

Aksharam: the Imperishable; Ambaranta dhriteh: because it supports all up to Akasa.

An expression from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is now taken up for discussion. We read in Bri. Up. III-8-7, In what then is the ether woven like warp and woof? Gargi put this question to sage Yajnavalkya. He replied: O Gargi, the Brahmanas call this Akshara (the Imperishable). It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long etc. Bri. Up. III-8-8. Here the doubt arises whether the word `Akshara' means syllable `OM' or Brahman. The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that `Akshara' etymologically means a syllable and therefore generally represents the syllable OM, which is also an object of meditation. We have no right to disregard the settled meaning of a word.

This Sutra refutes the above view and says that `Akshara here stands for Brahman only'. Why? Because the Akshara is said to support everything from earth up to ether. The text says In that Akshara, Gargi! is the ether woven like warp and woof Bri. UP. III-8-11. Now the attribute of supporting everything up to ether cannot be ascribed to any being but Brahman.

Moreover It is neither coarse nor fine, neither short nor long etc., indicates that relative qualities are absent in it. Therefore the `Akshara' is Brahman. The objector says: But even Pradhana supports everything up to ether, because it is the cause of all the modified objects in the universe and so the Akshara or the Imperishable may be Pradhana. To this doubt the following Sutra gives an answer.

Sa cha prasasanat I.3.11 (74)

This (supporting) on account of the command (attributed to the Imperishable, can be the work of the Supreme Self only and not of the Pradhana).

Sa: this (the quality of supporting everything up to ether); Cha: and, also; Prasasanat: because of the command.

An argument in support of Sutra 10 is given.

The supporting of all things up to ether is the work of the Highest Self only. Why? On account of the command. The text speaks of a command By the command of that Akshara O Gargi! the sun and the moon stand apart Bri. Up. III-8-9.

This command or rulership can be the work of the highest Lord only, not of the non-intelligent Pradhana. Because non-intelligent causes such as clay and the like cannot command their effects such as jars and the like. Therefore the Pradhana cannot be the `Akshara' which supports everything up to Akasa or ether.

Anyabhavavyavrittescha I.3.12 (75)

And on account of (the Sruti) separating (the Akshara) from that nature is different (from Brahman).

Anya: another; Bhava: nature; Vyavritteh: on account of the exclusion.

The argument in support of Sutra 10 is concluded.

The Imperishable (Akshara) is not Pradhana or Jiva, because in the same text we find description of attributes which would exclude another nature than Brahman. In a supplementary passage in the same Upanishad we find description of this Akshara which excludes Pradhana and Jiva, because they do not possess that nature.

The qualities referred to in the text namely, seeing, hearing, thinking, knowing etc., That Akshara, O Gargi! is unseen but seeing, unheard but hearing, unperceived but perceiving, unknown but knowing. There is no other seer but He, no other hearer but He, no other thinker but He, no other knower but He. In that Imperishable O Gargi! the ether is woven warp and woof (Bri. Up. III-8-11), point to an intelligent being and therefore negate the Pradhana which is non-intelligent.

The word `Akshara' cannot denote the individual soul as he is not free from limiting adjuncts, from which Akshara is free. The Srutis say Akshara is without eyes, without ears, without speech, without mind etc. (Bri. Up. III-8-8).

Therefore it is a settled conclusion that the Akshara or the imperishable is the Supreme Brahman only.



Ikshatikarmavyapadesat sah I.3.13 (76)

Because of His being mentioned as the object of sight, He (who is to be meditated upon is Brahman).

Ikshati: seeing, realising; Karma: object; Vyapadesat: because of his being mentioned; Sah: he.

An expression from the Prasnopanishad is taken up now for discussion.

The Highest Brahman is described as He is stated to be the object of Ikshana (realisation by vision). The reference is clearly to the Supreme Self as the object of Ikshana.

We read in Prasna Upanishad V-2 O Satyakama, the syllable OM is the highest and also the other Brahman; therefore he who knows it arrives by the same means at one of the two. The text then goes on Again he who meditates with the syllable Om of three Matras (A-U-M) on the Highest Person Prasna Up. V-5. A doubt arises whether the object of meditation is the Highest Brahman or the lower Brahman, because in V-2 both are mentioned, and also because Brahmaloka is described as the fruit by the worship of this Highest Person.

The Sutra says: What is here taught as the object of meditation is the Highest Brahman and not Hiranyagarbha (the lower Brahman). Why? On account of its being spoken of as the object of sightHe sees the Highest Person. This intimates that he actually realises or gets himself identified with the Highest Person. Hiranyagarbha also is unreal from the highest or transcendental view point. He is within the realm of Maya. He is associated with Maya. Therefore the Highest Person means the Highest Brahman only which is the only Reality. This very Brahman is taught at the beginning of the passage as the object of meditation.

The Sruti declares that the release from evil is the fruit of meditation As a snake is freed from its skin, so is he freed from evil. This clearly indicates that the Supreme constitutes the object of meditation.

The attainment of Brahmaloka by the worshipper should not be considered as an inappropriate or insignificant fruit of the worship of the Highest Person, because it is a step in gradual liberation or emancipation by degrees (Krama Mukti). He who meditates on the Supreme Self by means of the syllable OM as consisting of the Matras, obtains for his first reward Brahmaloka and after that Kaivalya Moksha or oneness with Supreme Brahman.

In Prasna Upanishad we read He arrives at this by means of the Omkara; the wise arrives at that which is at rest, free from decay, from death, from fear, the Highest. Free from decay, free from death, free from fear, the Highest can apply only to the Supreme Brahman and not to the lower Brahman.

The word Brahmaloka does not mean the Loka of Brahman but the Loka or condition which is Brahman Himself, just as we explain the compound word Nishadasthapati, not as the head-man of the Nishadas but a headman who at the same time is a Nishada. It is a Karmadharaya compound which does not mean the world of Brahman, but that world which is Brahman.



Dahara uttarebhyah I.3.14 (77)

The small (ether, Akasa, is Brahman) on account of the subsequent arguments or expression).

Daharah: the small; Uttarebhyah: from subsequent texts or expressions or arguments.

Another expression from the Chhandogya Upanishad is taken up for discussion.

`Dahara' refers to Brahman, because the reason stated in the later portions of the passage show this clearly.

We read in Chhandogya Upanishad VIII-1-1 Now there is this city of Brahman (the body), and in it the place, the small lotus (the heart) and in it that small ether (Akasa). Now what exists within that small ether is to be sought, that is to be understood.

Here the doubt arises whether the small ether within the small lotus of the heart, which the Sruti speaks, is the elemental ether, or the individual soul, or the Supreme Soul.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: By the small ether we have to understand the elemental ether which is the ordinary meaning of the word. It is here called small with reference to its small abode, the heart. Or else the `small one' may be taken to mean the individual soul on account of the term the city of Brahman (Brahmapuri). The body is here called the city of Brahman because the individual soul has his abode in the body, and has acquired this by his deeds. The individual soul is here called Brahman in a metaphorical sense. The Supreme Brahman cannot be meant, because He is not linked with the body as its Lord. The Lord of the city i.e., the individual soul resides in one spot of the city viz., the heart, just as a King dwells in one spot of his Kingdom. Further the mind, the limiting adjunct of the individual soul, abides in the heart. Only the individual soul is compared in the Sruti in size to the point of a goad.

Here the `small Akasa' is Brahman and does not mean elemental ether, although there is the qualification `small' which may indicate that he is a limited something. Why? Because the nature of Brahman is described later on in the text As large as this (external) ether is, so large is that Akasa within the heart. Both heaven and earth are contained within it. Chh. Up. VIII 1-3. This clearly intimates that it is not actually small.

Akasa cannot be compared with itself. The finite individual soul also with its limiting adjuncts cannot be compared with the all-pervading Akasa or ether. The Sruti declares Both the earth and heaven are contained in it. This indicates that this Akasa is the support of the whole world. From this it is manifest that the ether is the Supreme Self.

We read in the Chhandogya Upanishad VIII-1-5 The Self or Atman is sinless, ageless, deathless, griefless, free from old age, hunger, thirst, with true desire (Satkama), true thought (Satsankalpa) that ever comes true. This cannot apply to mere physical ether. These are all distinct qualities of the Supreme Brahman. The description cannot refer to the individual soul, because the comparison to the infinite ether and the statement that heaven and earth are contained in it cannot apply to the finite individual soul.

The word `Brahma' in Brahmapuri shows the reference to Brahman only. Even if you take the word as referring to Jiva the teaching relates to Brahman who is realised in the heart which is the Brahmapuri (the city of soul or Brahman). Moreover the promise of Infinite Bliss to the knower of Dahara Akasa intimates that the reference is only to the Supreme Brahman.

For all the reasons explained, that ether is the Highest Self or Supreme Brahman.

Gatisabdabhyam tatha hi drishtam lingam cha I.3.15 (78)

The small Akasa (ether) is Brahman on account of the action of going (into Brahman) and of the word (Brahmaloka); because thus it is seen (i.e. the individual souls go into Brahman) is seen elsewhere in other Sruti texts; and this daily going of the souls into Brahman (during deep sleep) is an inferential sign by means of which we may properly interpret the word `Brahmaloka').

Gatisabdabhyam: on account of the going and of the word; Tatha hi: thus, like; Drishtam: it is seen; Lingam: mark, sign from which something may be inferred; Cha: and.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is given.

It has been said in the preceding Sutra that the small ether is Brahman on account of the reasons given in the subsequent passages. These subsequent passages are now described.

The mention of `going' and a `word' refers to Brahman. We read in Chhandogya Upanishad VIII-3-2. All these creatures day after day go into this Brahmaloka (i.e. they are merged in Brahman during deep sleep) and yet do not discover it etc. This passage shows that all Jivas or individual souls go daily into the `small Akasa' called here Brahmaloka. This intimates that the `small Akasa' is Brahman.

This going of the individual souls into Brahman which occurs daily in the deep sleep is mentioned in the other Sruti text: He becomes united with the true (Sat), he is merged in his own Self Chh. Up. VI-8-1.

In common parlance or ordinary life also we say of a man who is in deep sleep He has become Brahman. He is gone into the state of Brahman.

The word `Brahmaloka' is to be interpreted as Brahman Himself, and not as the world of Brahman (Satya Loka) because there is the indicatory sign in the passage. What is that indicatory sign or Lingam? It is said in the text that the soul goes to this world daily. It is certainly impossible for the Jiva to go to the world of Brahman daily. Hence the term `Brahmaloka' means here Brahman Himself.

Dhritescha mahimno'syasminnupalabdheh I.3.16 (79)

Moreover on account of the supporting also (attributed to it) the small ether must be Brahman, because this greatness is observed in this (Brahman only according to other scriptural passages).

Dhriteh: on account of supporting (of the world by the Akasa or ether); Cha: and, moreover, also; Asya mahimnah: this greatness; Asmin: in Brahman; Upalabdheh: on account of being observed or found.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is continued.

Daharakasa or the small ether referred to in Sutra 14 indicates Brahman, as the glory of supporting all the worlds can be reasonably true only in respect of Brahman. And also on account of the `supporting' the small ether can be the Supreme Brahman only. How? To begin with the text introduces the general subject of discussion in the passage In it is that small ether. Then the small ether is to be compared with the universal ether. Everything is contained in it. Then the term Self is applied to it. Then it is stated that it is free from sin etc. Finally it is said That Self is a bank, a limiting support (Vidhriti) so that these worlds may not be confounded (Chh. Up. VIII-4-1). In this passage the glory of small ether by way of supporting the worlds is seen. Just as a dam stores the water so that the boundaries of the fields are not confounded, so also that Self serves like a dam in order that the world and all the different castes and Asramas may not be confounded.

Other texts declare that this greatness of supporting belongs to Brahman alone By the command of that Imperishable (Akshara) O Gargi, the sun and moon are held in their positions Bri. Up. III-8-9. He is the lord of all, the king of all kings, the protector of all things. He is a bank and a limiting support, so that these worlds may not be confounded Bri. Up. IV-4-22. This also shows that to be a boundary and support of the worlds is the distinctive attribute of Brahman only. Therefore, on account of the `supporting' also, the small (ether) is nothing else but Brahman.

Prasiddhescha I.3.17 (80)

Also because of the well-known meaning (of Akasa as Brahman the small Akasa is Brahman).

Prasiddheh: of the well-known (meaning); Cha: also

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is continued.

Akasa has the settled meaning of Brahman. It is a well-known fact in Sruti that Brahman is indicated by the term Akasa. Therefore `Daharakasa' also stands for Brahman.

We read in Chh. Up. VIII-14-1 Akasa is the revealer of all names and forms. All these beings take their origin from Akasa alone Chh. Up. I-9-1. For who could breathe if that Akasa (ether) were not bliss Tait. Up. II-7. In all these texts `Akasa' stands for Brahman.

Itaraparamarsat sa iti chen nasambhavat I.3.18 (81)

If it is said that the other one (i.e. the individual soul) is meant on account of a reference to it (made in a complementary passage) (we say) no, on account of the impossibility.

Itara: the other one, that is the Jiva; Paramarsat: on account of reference; Sa: he (the individual soul); Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: not; Asambhavat: on account of impossibility.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is continued. We read in the Chhandogya UpanishadNow that serene being, the individual soul (Jiva) indeed which having risen above this earthly body, and having reached the highest light, appears in its true form, that is the Self: thus he spoke.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: As in the complementary passage the individual soul is referred to, the small Akasa of Chh. Up. VIII-1-1 is also the individual soul. The word `serenity' (Samprasada) which denotes the state of deep sleep conveys the idea of the individual soul only. The `rising from the body' also can be spoken of the individual soul only whose abode is therefore `the small Akasa'; this denotes in the passage under discussion only the individual soul, on account of reference to the ether.

This cannot be. In the first place the individual soul which is limited by the internal organ and its other adjuncts, cannot be compared with the all-pervading ether.

In the second place, the attributes like `freedom from evil' and the likes of this Akasa, referred to in the passage under discussion, cannot be true of the individual soul. Hence Brahman is meant in that passage.

Uttaracchedavirbhutasvarupastu I.3.19 (82)

If it be said that for subsequent texts (it appears that the individual soul is meant, we say that what is there referred to is) rather (the individual soul in so far) as its real nature has become manifest (i.e. as it is non-different from Brahman).

Uttarat: from the subsequent texts of the Sruti; Chet: if; Avirbhuta-svarupat: with its true nature made manifest; Tu: but.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is continued.

An objection is again raised by the Purvapakshin to justify that the `small Akasa' (Dahara) refers to the individual soul. Prajapati at the outset declares that the Self, which is free from sin and the like is that which we must try to understand Chh. Up. VIII-7-1. After that he points out that the seer within the eye i.e. `the individual soul is the Self', Chh. Up. VIII-7-3. He again explains the nature of the same individual soul in its different states. He who moves about happy in dreams is the Self Chh. Up. VIII-10-1. When a man being asleep, reposing, and at perfect rest sees no dreams, that is the Self Chh. Up. VIII-1l-1. The qualifying terms `Immortal, fearless' used in each of these descriptions of the self show that the individual soul is free from sin or evil and the like. Obviously the individual soul is meant here because Brahman is free from the three states viz. waking, dream and deep sleep. It is also said to be free from evil. Therefore `small Akasa' refers to the individual soul or Jiva and not to Brahman.

The Sutra refutes this. The Sutra uses the expression He whose nature has become manifest. Prajapati finally explains the individual soul in its true nature as identical with Brahman. The reference is to the individual soul in its true nature as identical with Brahman or, in other words, who has realised his oneness with Brahman and not to the individual soul as such. As soon as it has approached the highest light it appears in its own form. Then It is the Highest Purusha Chh. Up. VIII-12-3. The individual soul is free from evil etc., when it becomes identical with Brahman and not when it is enveloped by limiting adjuncts and remains as the finite Jiva or embodied soul. Agency (Kartritva), enjoying (Bhoktritva), like and dislike (Raga-dvesha) indicate Jivahood. If these are removed the individual soul shines as Brahman.

As long as the individual soul does not free itself from Avidya (ignorance) in the form of duality and does not rise to the knowledge of the Self or Brahman, whose nature is unchangeable and Satchidananda which expresses itself in the form `I am Brahman', so long it remains as an individual soul. The ignorance of the Jiva may be compared to the mistake of a man who in the twilight mistakes a post for a man, a rope for a serpent.

When it gives up the identification with the body, sense organs and mind, when it realises its identity with the Supreme Brahman it becomes Brahman itself whose nature is unchangeable and Satchidananda, as is declared in Mun. Up. III-2-9. He who knows the highest Brahman becomes even Brahman. This is the real nature of the individual soul by means of which it arises from the body and appears in its own real form.

Why a reference has at all been made to Jiva in this Section treating of Dahara, you will find an answer in the following Sutra.

Anyarthascha paramarsah I.3.20 (83)

And the reference (to the individual soul) is for a different purpose.

Anyarthah: for a different purpose; Cha: and; Paramarsah: reference.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is continued.

The reference to the individual soul has a different meaning. The reference to the individual soul is not meant to determine the nature of the individual soul, but rather the nature of the Supreme Brahman. The reference to the three states of the individual soul is meant not to establish the nature of Jiva as such, but to show finally its real nature (Svarupa) which is not different from Brahman.

Another objection is raised. The text describes this `Dahara' as occupying a very small space in the heart, and because `Dahara' is so small and Jiva is also small, therefore, `Dahara' must be Jiva mentioned subsequently. The following Sutra gives a suitable answer.

Alpasruteriti chet taduktam I.3.21 (84)

If it be said that on account of the scriptural declaration of the smallness (of the ether) (the Brahman cannot be meant) (we say that) that has already been explained.

Alpasruteh: because of the Sruti declaring its smallness; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Tat: that; Uktam: has already been explained.

The argument in support of Sutra 14 is concluded.

The Purvapakshin or the objector has stated that the smallness of the ether stated by the Sruti In it is that small ether does not agree with Brahman, that it may however refer to the Jiva or the individual soul which is compared to the point of a goad. This has already been refuted. It has already been shown under I.2.7 that smallness may be attributed to Brahman for the purpose of meditation (Upasana). The same refutation is to be applied here also. That smallness is contradicted by that Sruti text which compares the ether within the heart with the universal ether As large as is this ether so large is the ether within the heart.



Anukritestasya cha I.3.22 (85)

On account of the acting after (i.e. the shining after) (that after which sun, moon, etc. are said to shine is the Supreme Self) and (because by the light) of Him (everything else is lighted).

Anukriteh: because of the acting after, from imitation, from the following; Tasya: its; Cha: and.

A passage from the Mundaka Upanishad is taken now for discussion.

We read in Mundaka Upanishad II-2-10 and Kathopanisad II-ii-15 The Sun does not shine there nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings, much less the fire. After him when he shines everything shines; by the light of him all this is lighted.

Now a doubt arises whether he after whom when he shines everything shines, and by whose light all this is lighted is some effulgent substance, or the Supreme Self.

The `shining after' mentioned in the text After him when he shines everything shines is possible only if the Supreme Self or Brahman is understood. Another Sruti declares of that Supreme Self, His form is light, his thoughts are true Chh. Up. III-14-2. Him the gods worship as the light of lights, as immortal time Bri. Up. IV-4-16.

The clause On account of the acting after points to the `shining after' mentioned in the text under discussion.

That the light of the Sun etc., should shine by some other material light is not known. It is absurd to say that one light is lighted by another. We do not know of any physical light, except the sun, that can light Brahman.

The manifestation of this whole universe has for its cause the existence of the light of Brahman, just as the existence of the light of the sun is the cause of the manifestation of all form and colours. Brahman is self-luminous. It remains in Its own glory. It illumines the sun, the moon, the stars, the lightning, the fire, the senses, the mind and the intellect and all objects. It does not need any other light to illumine it. Sruti texts like Brahman is the light of lights (Jyotisham Jyotih) clearly intimate that Brahman is Self-effulgent. It is quite possible to deny the shining of sun, moon etc., with reference to Brahman, because whatever is seen is seen by the light of Brahman only. As Brahman is Self-effulgent, it is not seen by means of any other light.

Brahman manifests everything else but is not manifested by anything else. We read in Bri. Up. By the Self alone as his light man sits IV-3-6. The word `Sarvam' denotes that the entire world of names and forms is dependent on the glory of Brahman. The word `anu' intimates that the reference is to Brahman because it is from Him that all effulgence is derived.

Api cha smaryate I.3.23 (86)

Moreover the Smriti also speaks of him i.e. Brahman to be the universal light.

Api cha: moreover, also; Smaryate: the Smriti states.

An argument insupport of Sutra 22 is given.

The Smriti or Gita also says so. In Gita, Chapter XV-6 we read Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the fire illumines that, having gone into which men do not return, that is my highest seat. And The light which abiding in the sun illumines the whole world and that which is in the moon and that which is in the fire, all that light know to be mine XV-12.



Sabdedeva pramitah I.3.24 (87)

From the very word (viz., the term Lord applied to it) the (person) measured (by the size of the thumb) (is Brahman).

Sabdat: from the very word; Eva: even, only, itself; Pramitah: measured, i.e., described as having the size of the thumb.

An expression from the Kathopanishad is taken up for discussion.

We read in Kathopanishad II-4-12, The person of the size of a thumb resides in the middle or centre of the body etc. and in II-4-13 That person, of the size of a thumb is like a light without smoke, lord of the past and of the future, he is the same today and tomorrow. Knowing Him one does not seek to hide oneself any more. This is That.

A doubt arises now whether the person of the size of a thumb mentioned in the text is the individual soul or the Supreme Self (Brahman).

The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that on account of the statement of the person's size of thumb the individual soul is meant, because to the Supreme Self which is Infinite the Sruti text would not ascribe the measure of a thumb.

To this we reply that the person of the size of a thumb can only be Brahman. Why? On account of the term `Isana', `Lord of the past and of the future.' The highest Lord only is the absolute ruler of the past and the future. Further the clause This is that connects the passage with that which had been enquired about, and therefore forms the topic of discussion. What had been enquired about by Nachiketas is Brahman. Nachiketas asks Lord Yama, That which thou seest as neither this nor that, as neither effect nor cause, as neither past nor future, tell me that (Katha Up. I-2-14). Yama refers to this person of the size of a thumb thus That which you wanted to know is this.

Brahman is said to be of the size of a thumb, though He is all-pervading, because He is realisable in the limited chamber of the heart of a man.

The epithet `The Lord of the past and the future', cannot be applied to Jiva at all, whose past and the future is bound by his Karmas and who is not free to possess so much glory.

But how the all-pervading Lord can be said to be limited by the measure of a thumb? The following Sutra gives a suitable answer.

Hridyapekshaya tu manushyadhikaratvat I. 3 25 (88)

But with reference to the heart (the highest Brahman is said to be of the size of a thumb) as man alone is entitled (to the study of the Vedas, to practise meditation and attain Self-realisation).

Hridi: in the heart, with reference to the heart; Apekshaya: by reference to, in consideration of; Tu: but; Manushyadhikaratvat: because of the privilege of men.

A qualifying explanation of Sutra 24 is given, and the privilege for Upasana or meditation is discussed.

The measure of a thumb is ascribed to Brahman, although all-pervading, which with reference to his residing within the heart which is generally as big as the thumb. Brahman dwells within the heart of all living beings. The hearts differ according to the animals, some have larger hearts, some have smaller, some are more than a thumb, some are less than a thumb. Why is the `thumb' used as a standard? Why a man's heart only and not that of any other animal, also? The second half of the Sutra gives an answer`on account of man only being entitled'. Man only is entitled to the study of the Vedas and practice of meditation and different Upasanas of Brahman prescribed in them. Therefore the thumb is used as the standard of measurement with reference to him alone.

The aim here is to show the identity of individual soul with Brahman which is inside the body and is of the size of a thumb. The Vedanta passages have twofold purport. Some of them aim in giving a description of the nature of Brahman, some in teaching the unity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Our passage teaches the unity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul or Brahman, not the size of anything. This point is rendered quite clear further on in the Upanishad. The person of the size of a thumb, the inner Self, always abides in the heart of men. Let a man draw that Self forth from his body with steadiness, as one draws the pith from a reed. Let him know that Self as `Bright as the Immortal'. Katha Up. II-6-17.



and to meditate on Brahman

Taduparyapi Baadarayanah sambhavat I.3.26 (89)

Also (beings) above them (viz., men) (are entitled for the study and practice of the Vedas) on account of the possibility (of it) according to Badarayana.

Tad upari: above them i.e. higher than men namely Devas; Api: also, even; Baadarayanah: the sage Baadarayana is of opinion; Sambhavat: because (it is) possible.

The description of the privilege of study of Vedas and meditation is continued.

There is a digression from the main topic in this Section in Sutras 26 to 38. The Purvapakshin or the opponent holds that such meditation is not possible in the case of the Devas, because they are not endowed with the sense organs. Hence they have got no capability to meditate. The Devas like Indra and the rest are mere thought forms created by the chanting of Mantras. They have no desire for the possession of Vairagya (dispassion), Viveka (discrimination) etc. To this the author gives a reply in this Sutra. A doubt may arise from the previous Sutra that as it is stated that men alone have the privilege to the study of the Vedas, the gods are thereby debarred. This Sutra removes this doubt.

The teacher Baadarayana thinks that the Sutra entitles gods also who are above men for the study of Vedas, practice of meditation and attainment of knowledge of Brahman. How? Because it is possible for them also as they too are corporeal beings. The Upanishads, the Mantra portion of the Vedas, the Itihasas and the Puranas all unanimously describe that the Devas have bodies. They may have the desire of final release caused by the reflection that all effects, objects and power are non-permanent. They may have the desire to possess the fourfold qualification which is necessary for attaining the knowledge of Brahman. The gods undergo discipleship in order to attain knowledge. We read in Chh. Up. VIII-7-11 Indra lived as a disciple with Prajapati for one hundred and one years; Bhrigu Varuni went to his father Varuna, saying, sir, teach me Brahman Tait. Up. III-1. The god Varuna possessed the knowledge of Brahman which he teaches to his son Bhrigu.

The gods also possess all the requisites for practising meditation. Therefore they are also entitled for the study of the Vedas and attaining Self-realisation. Even without Upanayana and study the Veda is manifest of itself to the gods.

The passage about that which is of the size of a thumb is equally valid when the right of the gods is accepted. In their case the Sruti describing the Lord of the size of a thumb refers to the size of their thumbs.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says if we admit that Devas have bodies, then there would arise difficulties with regard to sacrifices, because it is not possible for one finite corporeal being like Indra to be simultaneously present at many places of sacrifices, when he is invoked simultaneously by all his worshippers. Therefore sacrifices will become useless. To this objection the author gives a suitable reply in the following Sutra.

Virodhah karmaniti chet, na,

anekapratipatterdarsanat I.3.27 (90)

If it be said that (the corporeality of the gods involves) a contradiction to sacrifices; (we say) no, because we find (in the scriptures) the assumption (by the gods) of many (forms at one and the same time).

Virodhah: contradiction; Karmani: In the sacrifices; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: not; Aneka: many (bodies); Pratipatteh: because of the assumption; Darsanat: because it is found (in the scriptures).

An objection against Sutra 26 is raised and refuted.

It is possible for a Devata to assume several forms at the same time. He can appear in sacrifices performed simultaneously at different places. Smriti also states A Yogin, O hero of the Bharatas, may by his power multiply his self in many thousand forms and in them walk about on earth. In some he may enjoy the objects, in others he may undergo dire penance, and finally he may again withdraw them all, just as the sun withdraws its many rays. If such Smriti passage declares that even Yogins, who have merely acquired various extraordinary powers, such as subtlety of body and the like may assume several bodies at the same time, how much more capable of such feats must the gods be, who naturally possess all supernatural powers. A god may divide himself into many forms and present himself in many sacrifices at the same time. He can remain all the while unseen by others, in consequence of his power to make himself invisible. Moreover, why cannot the same god be the object of many sacrifices, just as the same man can be the object of salutation of many persons?

Sabda iti chet, na, atah prabhavat

pratyakshanumanabhyam I.3.28 (91)

If it be said (that a contradiction will result) in respect of the word (we say) no, because (the world) originates from the word, as is known from direct perception (Sruti) and inference (Smriti).

Sabda: regarding Vedic words; Iti: thus; Chet: if; Na: no; Atah: from this, from these words; Prabhavat: because of the creation; Pratyakshanumanabhyam: from direct perception (Sruti) and inference (Smriti).

Another objection against Sutra 26 (with respect to the corporeality of the gods) is raised and refuted.

The Purvapakshin maintains: The Vedic words have been proved in the Purvamimamsa philosophy to be permanent, i.e. without beginning or end. Now if gods are said to have bodies they must have births and deaths, which all embodied beings are subject to. Therefore the Vedic words for individual deities cannot exist before their birth, nor can those words signify any deities, when they have ceased to exist during dissolution. Hence the permanency of Vedic words fails.

To this objection the answer is that there cannot be any such incongruity with regard to Vedic words, because both Sruti and Smriti maintain that individual gods owe their origin to Vedic words.

The Vedic words exist from eternity. They have got their settled meaning. The Vedic names for gods signify their types and not the individuals. Therefore the births or deaths of individual gods cannot affect the types, much less the permanent character of Vedic words.

Cows are innumerable but it is with the type that the word `cow' is inseparably connected. The word `cow' is eternal. It does not depend on the birth and death of individuals belonging to that type. Words representing the gods have for their counterpart objects that are types and not individuals. Indra refers to a divine function like the office of the Viceroy and whoever is called to that function is called Indra. Therefore here is no non-eternality with reference to the Vedas.

The word, including even the gods, is created from scriptural words. The scriptural words are the source for the world and the gods. If you object to this and say that this conflicts with the Sutra I-1-2, which says that Brahman is the cause of the world, we reply: Brahman is the Upadanakarana (material cause). The Veda is not such material cause. The creator utters the Vedic words and creates. He says earth and creates the earth and so on.

The creation of every embodied being, whether Indra or a cow, proceeds from remembrance of the form and its characteristics by Lord Brahma. When he utters these words, which by association always suggest the particular form and the characteristics of that form. When a special individual of the class called Indra has perished, the creator, knowing from the Vedic word `Indra' which is present in his mind as the class characteristics of the being denoted by the word, creates another Indra possessing those very same characteristics, just as the potter fashions a new jar on the basis of the word `jar' which is revolving in his mind.

Every Vedic word always expresses a particular type form and does not express any individual. Brahman creates the world by remembering the particular type forms denoted by those words. Forms (Akritis) are eternal and exist in the archetypal plane from eternity before they become concrete in any individual form. Brahma, the creator created the Devas by reflecting on the word `etc.' (these). He created the men by the word `Asrigram'; the Pitris by the word `Indavah' (drops); the planets by the word `Tiras pavitram'; the songs by the word `Asuva'; the Mantras by the word `Visvani' and he created all other creatures by the word `Abhisaubhaga'.

The word `etad' (this) reminds Brahma the creator of the Devas presiding over the senses; the word `Asrigra' meaning blood, reminds him of those creatures in which blood is the chief life-element, namely men; the word`Indu' denoting moon, reminds him of the fathers, who live in the Chandraloka; the word `Tiras pavitram' meaning `holding of the pure ambrosia' reminds of the planets where the Soma fluid exists; the word `Asuva' (flowing) reminds him of the sweet flow of music; the word `Visva' reminds him of the hymns sacred to the Visvedevas; the word `Abhisubhaga', meaning `great prosperity', reminds him of all creatures. We read in Bri. Up. He with his mind united himself with speech i.e. the word of the Veda.

Every word has for its counterpart a form or an object which it denotes. Name and form are inseparable. Whenever you think of a form its name comes before your mind at once. Whenever you utter a name the object comes before your mind. The relation between a name or word and form (the object) is eternal.

The Veda is not the material cause of the universe. If you say that the Veda refers to Vasus, Rudras, Adityas and other gods who are born and are therefore non-eternal and, hence, the Vedas also must be non-eternal, we reply that what are born are the individual manifestations of Dravya (substance), Guna (quality) and Karma (actions) but not the Akritis, species. The origination of the universe from the `word' is not to be understood in the sense that the word constitutes the material cause of the world as Brahman does.

The several names, actions, and conditions of all things He shaped in the beginning from the words of the Vedas Manu I-21.

Thought first manifests as a word and then as the more concrete form. You cannot separate the thought from name and form. If you wish to do a thing you first remember the word denoting the thing and then you start the work. The Vedic words manifested in the mind of Prajapati, the creator before the creation. After that he created the things corresponding to those words. Uttering Bhur he created the earth etc. Taittiriya Brahmana II-2-4-2.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent maintains that the universe cannot be born of letters which are perishable, that there is an eternal Sphota (causal form of sound) of which uttered sounds are manifestations and that such Sphota is the cause of the universe. Sphota is that which causes the conception of the sense of a word (Arthadhiketu). Sphota is a supersensuous entity which is manifested by the letters of the word and if comprehended by the mind itself manifests the sense of the word.

This statement of the Purvapakshin is really untenable. This is certainly not our actual experience. The uttered sounds do not perish, for at the end of their utterance we realise their identity when we utter them again. It is said that there might be a difference of intonation when uttering the same word twice; this does not negate the identity, for the difference is only a difference of the instrument of manifestation. Albeit the letters are many, their group can be the subject of a conception (e.g. ten, hundred etc). The Sphota theory is therefore quite unnecessary.

It is therefore quite clear that the Vedic sounds are eternal and that there is no logical fallacy in the doctrine that through them has been created the entire universe including the gods.

Ata eva cha nityatvam I.3.29 (92)

From this very reason also there follows the eternity of the Vedas.

Ata eva: therefore, from this very reason; Cha: also; Nityatvam: The eternity of the Vedas.

A side issue is deduced from Sutra 28.

The eternal nature of Vedic words is also established from the same reasons adduced in Sutra 28 i.e. because those words signify permanent types.

This Sutra now confirms the already established eternity of the Vedas. The universe with its definite eternal types or spheres such as gods and so on originates from the word of the Veda. For this very reason the eternity of the word of the Veda must be accepted. As gods etc., as types are eternal, the Vedic words are also eternal.

The Vedas were not written by anybody. They are the very breath of the Lord. They are eternal. The Rishis were not the authors of the Vedas. They only discovered them. By means of their past good deeds the priests were able to understand the Vedas. They found them dwelling in the Rishis. The Mantra By means of sacrifice they followed the trace of speech; they found it dwelling in the Rishis. in Rigveda Samhita X-71-3 shows that the speech found by the Rishis was permanent. Veda Vyasa also says Formerly the great Rishis, being allowed to do so by Svayambhu, obtained through their penance the Vedas together with the Itihasas, which had been hidden at the end of the Yuga.

Samananamarupatvat cha avrittavapyavirodho

darsanat smritescha I.3.30 (93)

And on account of the sameness of names and forms in every fresh cycle there is no contradiction (to the eternity of the words of the Vedas) even in the revolving of the world cycles, as is seen from the Sruti and Smriti.

Samananamarupatvat: on account of similar names and forms; Cha: and; Avrittau: in the cycles of creation; Api: even, also; Avirodhah: no inconsistency or contradiction; Darsanat: from the Sruti; Smriteh: from the Smriti, Cha: and.

An argument in favour of Sutra 29 is given in this Sutra.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: At the end of a cycle everything is totally annihilated. There is new creation at the beginning of the next cycle. There is a break in the continuity of existence. Hence even as types, the gods are not eternal and the eternal relation of Vedic words and the objects they denote does not remain. Consequently there is contradiction to the eternity and the authority of the Vedas.

We say it is not so. Just as a man who rises from sleep continues the same form of existence which he enjoyed previously to his sleep, so also the world is a latent or potential state (in seed form) in Pralaya or dissolution; it is again projected with all the previous variety of names and forms at the beginning of the next cycle. Therefore the eternity of the relation between Vedic words and their objects is not at all contradicted. Consequently the authoritativeness of the Vedas remains. This is supported by Sruti and Smriti. We read in Rigveda X-190-3 As formerly the Lord ordered the sun and the moon, heaven, earth, the sky etc. We read in the Smriti As the same signs of seasons appear again and again in their due course, so do beings appear and reappear in successive cycles.

The word `Cha' in the Sutra is used to remove the doubt raised. Even after a great Pralaya there is no contradiction with regard to the eternity of Vedic words, because the new creation proceeds on the sameness of names and forms etc., in the preceding creation. In a Mahapralaya the Vedas and the types denoted by the words of the Vedas merge in the Lord and become one with Him. They remain in Him in a state of latency. When the Lord desires to create they come out from Him again and become manifest. The creation of individuals is always preceded by a reflection on the words of the Vedas and the types denoted by them.

After the Mahapralaya the Lord creates the Vedas in exactly the same order and arrangements as they had been before. He reflects on the words and types and projects the whole universe. A subsequent creation is similar to the past creation. The Lord creates the world just as a potter who makes a pot by remembering the word `pot' and the form which the word calls up in his mind.

After a Mahapralaya the Lord Himself creates all elements from Mahat downwards up to Brahmanda. He projects Brahma from His body and teaches Him the Vedas mentally (not orally) and entrusts Him with the work of further creation. In minor Pralaya Brahma does not cease to exist, nor do the elements. Brahma Himself creates the world after every minor Pralaya.

It may be objected that when we sleep and then wake up we can recall the already experienced external universe and that such a thing is not possible in the case of the dissolution of the world. But our answer is that by the grace of the supreme Lord, Hiranyagarbha or Brahma can recollect the state of the world as it was before the dissolution. We read in the Svetasvatara Upanishad During Pralaya all forms vanish but Sakti remains. The next creation takes place through it alone. Otherwise you would have to postulate a creation out of nothing.

Madhvadishvasambhavadanadhikaram Jaiminih I.3.31 (94)

On account of the impossibility (of the gods being qualified) for Madhu Vidya etc., Jaimini (is of opinion that the gods) are not qualified (either for Upasana or for the Brahma Vidya or the knowledge of the Self).

Madhu adishu: in Madhu Vidya etc.; Asambhavat: on account of the impossibility; Anadhikaram: disqualification; Jaiminih: Jaimini is of opinion.

Another objection to Sutra 26 is raised.

For Madhu Vidya vide Chh. Up. III-1-11, the sage Jaimini, the author of Purvamimamsa, says that as the sun and the other gods are the deities to be worshipped in Madhu Vidya and the like, it is impossible that they should also be the worshippers. Hence they are not entitled for the Upasana prescribed in Sruti, because obviously they cannot worship themselves. In Madhu Vidya one is to meditate on the Sun as honey (beneficial). Such a meditation is not possible for Surya or the Sun-god because one and the same person cannot be both the object of meditation as well as the person meditating.

Further the Devas like Vasu etc., already belong to the class of Vasus etc. Therefore in their case the meditation is useless as the fruit is already accomplished. The Devas have nothing to gain by such meditation. So they have no desire for this meditation, because they already are in possession of that which is the fruit of such meditation.

Jyotishi bhavacca I.3.32 (95)

And (the gods are not qualified for Vidyas) because (the words `sun, moon' etc., spoken of as gods) are used in the sense of mere spheres of light.

Jyotishi: as mere spheres of light; Bhavat: because used in the sense; Cha: and.

An argument in support of the objection raised in Sutra 31 is given.

The Purvapakshin raises another objection: The luminous orbs cannot possibly do acts of meditation. Such and other luminary objects as Agni etc., cannot have a bodily form with hands, heart or intelligence. They are material inert objects. They cannot have wishes. We cannot place faith on Itihasas and Puranas, as they are of human origin and as they themselves stand in need of other means of knowledge on which to base. The Mantras do not form an independent means of authoritative knowledge. The Arthavada passages cannot be regarded to constitute by themselves reasons for the existence of the personality of the gods. Consequently the gods are not qualified for any kind of Vidya or knowledge of Brahman.

Bhavam tu Baadarayano'sti hi I. 3.33 (96)

But Baadarayana, on the other hand (maintains) the existence (of qualification on the part of the gods for Brahma Vidya); for there are (passages indicatory of that; body, desires etc., which qualify one for such knowledge do exist in the case of the gods).

Bhavam: the existence (of the qualification to practise the meditation like Madhu Vidya etc.); Tu: but; Baadarayanah: the sage Baadarayana (maintains); Asti: does exist; Hi: because.

This Sutra refutes the arguments in the previous two Sutras and concludes the discussion.

But Baadarayana holds that the gods too have the right to practise Upasana as meditation and Brahma Vidya, because there are indications in Sruti to that effect. He maintains that each luminary orb has a presiding deity with body, intelligence, desires etc. The gods can assume any form at will. Indra assumed the form of a ram and carried off Medhatithi. Surya assumed the form of a man and came to Kunti. We read in Chh. Up. VIII-12-6 The gods indeed do worship the Atman. The sun-god may be disqualified for a particular form of meditationMadhu Vidya, as he cannot meditate on the sun himself, but that is no reason why he should be disqualified for other meditations or for Brahma Vidya or the knowledge of Brahman. Similar is the case with other gods.

The expression `Tu' (but, on the other hand) is meant to rebut the Purvapakshin.

Scripture declares that the Devas are qualified. Whatever Deva was awakened so to know Brahman he indeed became that Bri. Up. 1-4-10. Indra went to Prajapati saying well, let us search for that Self by which if one has searched it out, all worlds and all desires are obtained Chh. Up. VIII-7.

The description of the forms of gods is real. How can unreal forms of gods be conceived by our minds for our offering sacrifices to them? Ordinary people are not able to behold their forms. But sages like Vyasa have seen them. They spoke to the gods. The Yoga Sutras say By Svadhyaya one can be in communion with the deity which we worship. How can you deny the powers of Yoga? Rishis had marvellous powers.

Therefore gods have forms and are eligible for Brahma Vidya.

Apasudradhikaranam: Topic 9 (Sutras 34-38)

The right of the Sudras to the study of Vedas discussed

Sugasya tadanadarasravanat

tadadravanat suchyate hi I.3.34 (97)

(King Janasruti) was in grief on hearing some contemptuous words used about him by the sage in the form of a swan; owing to his approaching Raikva, overwhelming with that grief, Raikva called him Sudra; for it (the grief) is pointed at by Raikva.

Suk: grief; Asya: his; Tat: that, namely that grief; Anadarasravanat: from hearing his (the Rishi's) disrespectful speech; Tada: then; Adravanat: because of going to him i.e, to Raikva; Suchyate: is referred to; Hi: because.

The discussion on the privilege of divine meditation begun in Sutra 25 is continued.

The whole of this Adhikarana about Sudras together with the preceding one about the Devas appears to be an interpolation of some later author.

In the previous Sutra it has been shown that the gods are entitled to the study of Vedas and Brahma Vidya. This Sutra discusses whether the Sudras are entitled to them or not.

The Purvapakshin says: The Sudras also have got bodies and desires. Hence they are also entitled. Raikva refers to Janasruti who wishes to learn from him by the name of Sudra. Fie, necklace and carriage be thine, O Sudra, together with the cows Chh. Up. IV-2 & 3. But when he appears a second time, Raikva accepts his presents and teaches him. Smriti speaks of Vidura and others who were born from Sudra mothers as possessing highest knowledge. Therefore the Sudra has a claim to Brahma Vidya or knowledge of Brahman.

This Sutra refutes the view and denies the right to the study of the Vedas for Sudra. The word `Sudra' does not denote a Sudra by birth which is its conventional meaning, because Janasruti was a Kshatriya king. Here we will have to take the etymological meaning of the word which is, He rushed into grief (Sukam abhi dudrava) or as grief rushed on him or as he in his grief rushed to Raikva. The following Sutra also intimates that he was a Kshatriya.

Kshatriyatvavagateschottaratra chaitrarathena lingat I.3.35 (98)

And because the Kshatriyahood (of Janasruti) is known from the inferential mark (supplied by his being mentioned) later on with Chaitraratha (who was a Kshatriya himself).

Kshatriyatva: the state of his being a Kshatriya; Avagateh: on account of being known or understood; Cha: and; Uttaratra: latter on in a subsequent part of the text; Chaitrarathena: with Chaitraratha; Lingat: because of the indicatory sign or the inferential mark.

An argument in support of Sutra 34 is given.

Janasruti is mentioned with the Kshatriya Chaitraratha Abhipratarin in connection with the same Vidya. Hence we can infer that Janasruti also was a Kshatriya because, as a rule, equals are mentioned together with equals. Hence the Sudras are not qualified for the knowledge of Brahman.

Samskaraparamarsat tadabhavabhilapacca (I.3.36) (99)

Because purificatory ceremonies are mentioned (in the case of the twice-born) and their absence is declared (in the case of the Sudra).

Samskara: the purificatory ceremonies, the investiture with sacred thread; Paramarsat: because of the reference; Tat: that ceremony; Abhava: absence; Abhilapat: because of the declaration; Cha: and.

The discussion on the privilege of Brahma Vidya on the part of Sudras is continued.

In different places of the Vidyas the Upanayana ceremony is referred to. The Upanayana ceremony is declared by the scriptures to be a necessary condition for the study of all kinds of knowledge or Vidya. We read in Prasna Up. I-1 Devoted to Brahman, firm in Brahman, seeking for the highest Brahman they, carrying fuel in their hands, approached the venerable Pippalada, thinking that he would teach them all that. Upanayana ceremony is meant for the higher castes. With reference to the Sudras on the other hand, the absence of ceremonies is frequently mentioned in the scriptures. In the Sudra there is not any sin by eating prohibited food, and he is not fit for any ceremony Manu X-12-6. A Sudra by birth cannot have Upanayana and other Samskaras without which the Vedas cannot be studied. Hence the Sudras are not entitled to the study of the Vedas.

The next Sutra further strengthens the view that a Sudra can have no Samskara.

Tadabhavanirdharane cha pravritteh I.3.37 (100)

And because the inclination (on the part of Gautama to impart knowledge is seen only) on the ascertainment of the absence of Sudrahood (in Jabala Satyakama).

Tad: that, namely the Sudrahood; Abhava: absence; Nirdharane: in ascertainment; Cha: and; Pravritteh: from inclination.

The same discussion on the Sudras' right is continued.

Gautama, having ascertained Jabala not to be a Sudra from his speaking the truth proceeded to initiate and instruct him. None who is not a Brahmana would thus speak out. Go and fetch fuel, friend, I shall initiate you. You have not swerved from the truth Chh. Up. IV-4-5.

This scriptural text furnishes an inferential sign of the Sudras not being capable of initiation.

Sravanadhyayanarthapratishedhat smritescha I .3.38 (101)

And on account of the prohibition in Smriti of (the Sudras) hearing, studying and understanding (the Veda) and performing Vedic rites (they are not entitled to the knowledge of Brahman).

Sravana: hearing; Adhyayana: studying; Artha: understanding; Pratishedhat: on account of the prohibition; Smriteh: in the Smriti; Cha: and.

The same discussion on the Sudras' right is concluded here.

The Smriti prohibits their hearing the Veda, their studying and understanding the Veda and their performing Vedic rites. The ears of him who hears the Veda are to be filled with molten lead and lac. For a Sudra is like a cemetery. Therefore the Veda is not to be read in the vicinity of a Sudra. His tongue is to be slit if he pronounces it; his body is to be cut through if he preserves it. Sudras like Vidura and the religious hunter Dharma Vyadha acquired knowledge owing to the after effects of former deeds in past births. It is possible for the Sudras to attain that knowledge through the Puranas, Gita and the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata which contain the quintessence of the Vedas.

It is a settled point that the Sudras do not possess any such qualification with regard to the Veda.

The digression begun from Sutra 26 ends here and the general topic is again taken up.



Kampanat I.3.39 (102)

(Prana is Brahman) on account of the vibration or trembling (spoken of the whole world).

Kampanat: on account of shaking or vibration.

After discussing the side issues in Sutra 25-38 the Sutrakara or the author of the Sutras resumes the examination of the main issue.

An argument in support of Sutra 24 is given here.

The discussion of qualification for Brahma Vidya or knowledge of Brahman is over. We return to our chief topic i.e., the enquiry into the purport of the Vedanta texts.

We read in Kathopanishad II-3-2 Whatever there is in the whole world has come out of Prana and trembles in the Prana. The Prana is a great terror, a raised thunderbolt. Those who know it become immortal.

The Purvapakshin maintains that the term Prana denotes the air or the vital force with its five modifications. The Siddhantin says: Here Prana is Brahman and not the vital force, because Brahman only is spoken of in the preceding as well as in the subsequent part of the chapter. How then can it be supposed that all at once the vital force should be referred to in the intermediate part?

The whole world trembles in Prana. We find here a quality of Brahman viz., its constituting the abode of the whole world. That the word `Prana' denotes the highest Self appears from such passages as `the Prana of Prana' Bri. Up. IV-4-18. The scripture declares No mortal lives by the Prana and the breath that goes down. We live by another in whom these two repose (Katha Up. II-5-5.) In the passage subsequent to the one under discussion From terror of it fire burns, from terror the sun shines, from terror Indra and Vayu and Death as the fifth run away. Brahman and not the vital force is spoken of as the subject of that passage, which is represented as the cause of fear on the part of the entire universe inclusive of the Prana itself. Brahman only is the cause of the life of the entire universe including the vital force.

Brahman is compared to a thunderbolt because he inspires fear in fire, air, sun, Indra and Yama. Further Immortality is declared to him who knows this Prana. A man who knows him only passes over death, there is no other path to go. (Svet. Up. VI-15). Prana is also often used to denote Brahman in the Sruti.



Jyotirdarsanat I.3.40 (103)

The light (is Brahman) on account of that (Brahman) being seen (in the scriptural passage).

Jyotih: light; Darsanat: on account of (Brahman) being seen.

The argument in support of Sutra 24 is continued.

We read in the Sruti Thus does that serene being arising from this body, appear in its own form as soon as it has approached the Highest Light (Chh. Up. VIII-12-3).

Here the doubt arises whether the word `light' denotes the physical light which is the object of sight and dispels darkness, or the Highest Brahman.

The Purvapakshin or the opponent says: The word light denotes the well-known physical light because that is the conventional sense of the word.

To this we have the following reply. The word `light' can denote the Highest Brahman only. Why? Because in the whole chapter Brahman is the topic of discussion. The Highest Light is also called the `Highest Person' in that text itself later on. Freedom from body is said to belong to that being which is one with this light. Sruti declares When he is free from the body then neither pleasure nor pain touches him (Chh. Up. VIII-12.1). Freedom from body is not possible outside Brahman. One can attain freedom or the bodiless state when he identifies himself with Brahman.



Akaso'rthantaratvadivyapadesat I.3.41 (104)

Akasa (is Brahman) because it is declared to be something different etc., (from names and forms).

Akasah: Akasa; Arthantaratvadi-vyapadesat: because it is declared to be something different; Artha: with a meaning; Antaratva: differentness. Adi: etc.; Vyapadesat: from statement on account of designation.

Another expression from the Chhandogya Upanishad is now taken up for discussion. We read in Chhandogya Upanishad VIII-14-1 That which is called Akasa is the revealer of all names and forms. That within which these names and forms are contained is Brahman, the Immortal, the Self.

Here a doubt arises whether that which here is called Akasa is the Highest Brahman or the ordinary elemental ether.

The Purvapakshin or the objector says that Akasa means here the elemental ether, because this is the conventional meaning of the word.

To this the Siddhantin gives the following reply. Here `Akasa' is Brahman only, because it is designated as a different thing etc. Names and forms are said to be within this Akasa, which is therefore different from these.

The term Akasa signifies Brahman because it is stated to be the source of all names and forms, also because it is qualified by such epithets as `Infinite, Immortal' `Self'. The word Akasa, refers to Brahman because the description beyond name and form applies only to Brahman.



Sushuptyutkrantyorbhedena I.3.42 (105)

Because of the Highest Self being shown as different (from the individual soul) in the states of deep sleep and death.

Sushupti utkrantyoh: In deep sleep and death; Bhedena: by the difference, as different; (Sushupti: deep sleep; Utkranti: departing at the time of death).

An expression from the sixth chapter of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is now taken up for discussion.

In the sixth Prapathaka or chapter of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, in reply to the questionWho is that Self? (IV-3-7), a lengthy exposition of the nature of the Self is given. He who is within the heart, among the Pranas, the person of light, consisting of knowledge.

Here a doubt arises whether the Self is the Highest Self or the individual soul.

The Sutra declares that it is the Highest Self. Why? Because it is shown to be different from the individual soul in the state of deep sleep and at the time of death. This person embraced by the Highest intelligent Self knows nothing that is without or within Bri. Up. IV-3-21. This clearly indicates that in deep sleep the `person' or the individual soul is different from the Highest intelligent Self or Brahman.

Here the term the person must mean the Jiva or the embodied soul, because the absence of the knowledge of what is within and without in deep sleep can be predicated only of the individual soul. The Supreme intelligent Self is Brahman because such intelligence can be predicated of Brahman only. Brahman is never dissociated from all-embracing knowledge. Similarly the passage that treats of departure i.e. death (this bodily Self mounted by the intelligent self moves along groaning) refers to the Supreme Lord as different from the individual soul. The Jiva who casts off this mortal body is different from Supreme Self or Brahman. The Jiva alone passes through the stages of sound-sleep and death. Brahman has neither sleep nor death. He is wide awake always.

Therefore Brahman is the chief topic in this Section. The Chapter exclusively aims at describing the nature of Brahman. The lengthy discourse on the individual soul in this Section is to show that he is in essence identical with Brahman.

Patyadisabdebhyah I.3.43 (106)

(The Being referred to in Sutra 42 is Brahman) because of the words `Lord' etc., being applied to Him. He is the controller, the Ruler, the Lord of all. Bri. Up. IV-4-22.

Patyadi sabdebhyah: On account of words like `Lord' etc., (the self in the text under discussion is the Superme Self).

The argument in support of Sutra 42 is given.

These epithets are apt only in the case of Brahman, because these epithets intimate that the thing spoken of is absolutely free. Hence the word Self denotes the Highest Self or Brahman and not the Jiva or the embodied soul, from all of which we conclude that the Chapter refers to the Supreme Brahman.

Here ends the Third Pada of the First Adhyaya of the Brahma Sutras and of Sariraka Bhashya of Sri Sankaracharya.

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